From Snow Summit to the Moonridge Y, 30 Years Later La Montaña Restaurant Has a New Family

It was back in the ’70s at Snow Summit Ski Resort when Rook Oxandaboure and Bob Hoogendyk started serving Mexican food under the La Montaña banner. By 1978, the locals’ favorite found its new, permanent home on the Moonridge Y, and La Montaña restaurant has been there ever since. Thirty years later, though, the Oxandaboure family has sold the restaurant to the Bechtold family. Of the new owners, which includes mother and daughter Linda and Monica and childhood friend Gary Outzen, La Montaña’s longtime bar manager Blake Ordway says, “The people who have taken it over are very nice, and they’re only going to make the restaurant better.” Though escrow closed at March’s end, Ordway and Oxandaboure have remained on hand for the transition, and Ordway plans to stay behind the bar for the time being. New owner Monica Bechtold, who also owns the family-style Evergreen Café in Wrightwood, has relocated to Big Bear and plans to expand on what the Oxandaboure family has already established. “We know what people want,” she says, “and we want people to feel comfortable. It’s important to have a family environment.” The Bechtolds plan to keep La Montaña’s affordable menu intact, though notes that she wants to introduce steak and Mexican-style seafood—and, she adds, “We’re planning to freshen it up and give it some color. And the horseshoe pit is staying.”

It was back in the ’70s at Snow Summit Ski Resort when Rook Oxandaboure and Bob Hoogendyk started serving Mexican food under the La Montaña banner. By 1978, the locals’ favorite found its new, permanent home on the Moonridge Y, and La Montaña restaurant has been there ever since. Thirty years later, though, the Oxandaboure family has sold the restaurant to the Bechtold family. Of the new owners, which includes mother and daughter Linda and Monica and childhood friend Gary Outzen, La Montaña’s longtime bar manager Blake Ordway says, “The people who have taken it over are very nice, and they’re only going to make the restaurant better.” Though escrow closed at March’s end, Ordway and Oxandaboure have remained on hand for the transition, and Ordway plans to stay behind the bar for the time being. New owner Monica Bechtold, who also owns the family-style Evergreen Café in Wrightwood, has relocated to Big Bear and plans to expand on what the Oxandaboure family has already established. “We know what people want,” she says, “and we want people to feel comfortable. It’s important to have a family environment.” The Bechtolds plan to keep La Montaña’s affordable menu intact, though notes that she wants to introduce steak and Mexican-style seafood—and, she adds, “We’re planning to freshen it up and give it some color. And the horseshoe pit is staying.”

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